Liberal International

President of Honour Van Baalen: 'The will of the Catalan people cannot be ignored'

Liberal International , donderdag 13 november 2014

LI President of Honour Hans van Baalen MEP has congratulated Catalan President Artur Mas on the dignified, transparent and democratic consultation recently held on the independence of Catalonia.

Elaborating on the significance of the maintaining mutual dialogue between Spain and Catalonia Van Baalen said: “The will of the Catalan people cannot be ignored. Madrid should open talks with Catalonia on the future relations between Madrid and Barcelona.

Mutual respect can help to de-escalate the tensions as the Scottish referendum has shown. In a parliamentary democracy such as the United Kingdom the people have had the last word. This could be an example for Spain which has our respect for the way it developed from an authoritarian rule into a modern democracy in the heart of Europe.”

President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, hailed the poll as a great success reiterating that the results had clearly shown the need for a formal referendum: "We have earned the right to a referendum. Once again Catalonia has shown that it wants to rule itself. I ask the people in the world, I ask the media and I also ask the democratic governments in the world to help the Catalan people decide its political future."

The Catalan Secretary for Foreign Relations and European Union Affairs, Roger Albinyana, explained that the outcome of the referendum clearly shows the need for serious dialogue and negotiation on the part of the Spanish government: “The Spanish Government must now realise that they cannot hide behind legal manoeuvres in addressing the future status of Catalonia, and must finally agree to take part in a proper democratic political process to address and resolve this highly political issue with deep feelings on all sides. Through their own efforts, and despite all the obstacles, the people of Catalonia have spoken. The time for serious dialogue and negotiation has now come."

President of ALDE PACE Jordi Xucla MP (Catalan Group of LI, LI full-member) stressed on the importance of the Catalan people to determine their own future saying: "Democracy is at the core of the values and efforts of the international liberal family. What is happening in Catalonia is a true revolt based on the civic commitment and the persistent expression of the voice of the people both in the streets and at he ballot boxes. I call on the international community to support and protect the Catalans to freely determine our own future.”

Close to 2,300,000 people had taken part in the consultation process with around 80% answering “yes” to both questions: whether Catalonia should be a state and whether that state should be independent.

In a World Today Resolution adopted by the 59th Congress in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, LI had expressed its clear support for the right of the Catalan people to determine their own future.

Photo: LI President of Honour Hans van Baalen MEP and President of Catalonia, Artur Mas